Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Schedule for Irish athletes at the European Athletics Championships...12th-17th Aug 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Schedule for Irish athletes at the European Athletics Championships...12th-17th Aug 2014

The European Track and Field Championships are coming in Zurich, Switzerland over the next week. Some of the Irish team are real medal contenders and the ones to watch out for are...
Rob Heffernan as the current 50k race walk world champion should be in the mix for a medal.
Thomas Barr of Ferrybank AC in Waterford moved up a notch this summer and has posted some of the fastest times in Europe this year in the mens 400m hurdles.
Mark English....What a talent. I'd be very suprised if he doesn't come home with some colour medal.

Other ones to watch are...
19 year old Phil Healy from Bandon AC in Cork. Her first outing as a senior athlete in a major championships and what great experience to get.
Sarah Lavin in the 100m hurdles...Just 20 years old and already recording some very fast times. How far will she progress?
Fionnuala Britton making her debut marathon. Possibly one for experience rather than setting a fast time?

Here is the schedule......(Updated Mon 18th Aug @11am)

Day 1 –  Tuesday 12th of August ***************
Zurich Ireland
10.07 400mH (R1) Thomas Barr wins his heat in 49.79s. Jason Harvey goes out in his heat.
10.40 100m (R1) Amy Foster 5th in 11.51 and goes through as a fastest loser / Phil Healy finishes 6th in her race in 11.53 seconds and fails to go through. All down to mere fractions of a second.

"Gutted to have been just .02 off making semi. But unbelievable experience to make a major senior champs at just 19! Focus now moves to relay"

Post race interview with Phil...

400m (R1) Brian Gregan finishes 3rd in his heat in 46.33 and goes through to the next round / Richard Morrissey runs a new PB of 46.20s (old PB 46.42). He is now listed 9th on the Irish all time list, up from 12th. He goes through through as a fastest finisher.
100mH (R1) Sarah Lavin finishes 8th in her heat in a time of 13.35s (seasons best was 13.23). She bows out of the competition.
800m (R1) Mark English wins his heat in 1m 47.38s / Declan Murray finishes in 7th place in his heat with a time of 1:50.01 and goes out.
10000m (Final) Fionnuala Britton finishes 8th in a time of 32m 32.45s. Very impressive performance from 40 year old Jo Pavey to take a European title.

Highlights from Day 1 on the RTE Player Service....(52 mins long. Start to 30:30 womens 10k, the rest is highlights and analysis. Phil Healy's race is 36:40 to 37:00).
Article from Feidhlim Kelly in the Irish Examiner about the highlights of Day 1.
Report from Will Downing for Setanta Sports on Day 1

Day 2 – Wednesday 13th of August *****************
09.55 400mH (R1) Christine McMahon finished in 3rd spot in 57.16s and now goes through to the next round. It was a dramatic race with a Danish athlete being disqualified for a false start and then a Ukrainian athlete in the adjacent lane crashing into Christine's lane at the start of the home straight and crashing into the hurdle.

"I'm happy with that. In the hurdles, you train and expect things to go wrong. The rain didn't affect me out there. Of all nations, we're used to it. A girl fell into my lane, but thankfully there was enough left in my legs to swerve around and get to the line. It's the way the sport is, you have to be ready for things to go wrong. Tomorrow evening is the semi-final, so I'll try to get back now, rest up and be ready to go again then."

Note...schedule delayed due to local storm
400mH (SF) Thomas Barr finishes 3rd in his heat in 49.30 seconds. Unfortunately that wasn't fast enough to qualify for the final.

"It's been a great season. Yesterday showed I had it in me. I felt fresh. If I put it together I could have PB'd, but I didn't. Everyone had the same conditions to deal with. I can't blame the weather or the delay. I knew I was out as soon as I finished. I just didn't have that extra gear today. That was below my expectations."

Post race interview with Thomas Barr...

100m (SF) Amy Foster finishes in 8th in her semi-final heat with a time of 11.79s into a strong headwind of minus 1.9 m/s. She now concentrates on the relay event.
Post race interview with Amy Foster...

400m (SF) Brian Gregan goes out after running a seasons best time to finish in 6th place in the 3rd heat which was very fast. His time was actually faster than the winner of heat 1.
Post race interview with Brian Gregan...

Richard Morrissey finished 8th in his heat with a time of 46.64s and bows out. (PB 46.20 which he set yesterday in the 1st round).

800m (SF) Mark English finished 4th in his heat of the mens 800m in a time of 1m 46.23s. Although he faded somewhat in the home straight, his goes through as one of the fastest losers to the final.

Athletics Ireland....Mark English makes the final of the 800m at the European Athletics Championships becoming Ireland's first finalist since 1998 when James McIlroy (cousin to golfer Rory) placed fourth.

"I just tied up a bit. But they were good athletes ahead of me. I'm just happy I made the final. It's my first major final." 

"I'm just happy I made the final. I've never felt nerves like that, so I'm delighted to get through. I knew when I saw my time I had a good chance of making it. I'm improving tactically with every race. The stress is gone now. Expectations will have been lowered. I'm going to go out there and enjoy it and do the best I can."

Post race interview with Mark English...

Report on Day 2 from Athletics Ireland
Article on Day 2 from the Irish Examiner 
Report from Will Downing of Setanta Sports on Day 2 
Highlights of Day 2 on the RTE Player Service

Day 3 – 14th of August
20Km Race Walk (Final) Laura Reynolds...1 warning...Looks like Laura is out of the race around the 12k mark.
Leitrim's Laura Reynolds has pulled up in 20km walk at @Euro_Champs before 12km mark. Had 1 red card & 3 min behind leaders 
From her coach...Laura DNF @ 12k. Suffered cramps early on & breathing difficulties related to her asthmatic condition. There'll be better days

200m (R1) Kelly Proper finishes in 4th in a time of 23.37s and goes through to the semi-finals.
Post race interview...

400mH (SF) Christine McMahon finishes 8th in her heat in a time of 57.31s and bows out. She was 57.16 in the previous heat and has a PB of 56.97.....all within fractions of a second of each other.

Post race interview with Christine McMahon...

200m (SF) Kelly Proper finished in 5th place with a time of 23.15s so she exits the competition. That time from Kelly was actually a new personal best breaking her old PB of 23.16s. If she had been in the 3rd heat, her time would have been good enough to finish 2nd and qualify for the final.

"Happy with PB, felt great! Really wanted to be in that Final! Time to focus on the relay now!" 

Post race interview with Kelly Proper...

Interview with Kelly Proper...

The big story of Day 3 however was the disqualification of the French athlete Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad after he had won gold in the 3,000m steeplechase. In the last 100m, he took off his singlet while the rules state that an athlete must wear a singlet. He was given a yellow card after finishing which doesn't mean a whole lot, the Spanish then lodged a complaint which was upheld. The French appealed that decision but was rejected.

It's fair to say that he isn't a popular figure in athletics but is this over the top? He was after all the clear winner and his actions did not directly impact on any other athlete.

Highlights of Day 3 on the RTE Player Service

Day 4 – 15th of August

50km Race Walk (Final) Rob Heffernan had to pull out of the race just before the 40km mark.
 "I feel as if I was beaten up. I thought they were playing into my hands but they didn't. My tactics were wrong, mentally as well. It's not as if I threw in the towel."

"I'm very very disappointed and thank you so much for all your support. But today I was only obsessed with gold and it did not work out. Huge congrats to Yohan Diniz for winning and his world record. I hope to return in the future I hope to do our great nation proud!! "

Post race interview with Rob...

Brendan Boyce finishes in 16th place in a new personal best time of 3h 51m 34s. That's a big improvement on his previous best of 3:54:24 which he set in the World Championships in Moscow in 2013. More info in this post.

1500m (R1) Paul Robinson finished a very credible 4th in his heat out of 16 finishers in a time of 3m 39.83s and takes an automatic qualification spot for the final.

 "I'm absolutely delighted. I felt really, really good out there. When I went looking for the gears in the last 200, thankfully they were there. Someone's going to get a medal that you don't expect on Sunday, and hopefully that's me."

John Travers finished 14th out of 16 in a disappointing time of 3:49.73 and goes out.

Ciarán Ó Lionáird finished 7th in 3:39.79 and goes through as one of the fastest losers. An almost identical time to Pual Robinson.

800m (Final) Mark English wins a European Bronze medal after finishing 3rd in the mens 800m in a time of 1:45.03. A brilliant result.

"The last 100m was unbelievable. I trusted myself. I didn't listen to anyone else. I'm happy with bronze. I knew Bosse was beatable today. I played a percentage game up the home straight. I had to go wide. It's nice not to be known as a time triallist. I said I'd run my own race. It's fantastic. It's not just for me. It's for everyone who supported me. My whole family are here."

Post race interview with Mark English...

Race video...

Irish Examiner article on Mark English
Highlights of day 4 on the RTE Player Service
Mens 50k walk on the RTE Player Service

Day 5 – 16th of August
Marathon...Fionnuala Britton/Barbara Sanchez/S. Mulligan

Fionnuala Britton 10th ...2:31:46..Sarah Mulligan 36th ...2:42:43...Barbara Sanchez 41st...2:43:59
Irish team 7th...more detailed report in this post.

Post race interview with Fionnuala Britton......

15.10 14.10 4x100m (R1) Relay Team  The Irish 4 x 100m relay team set a new Irish record in the 2nd heat. Their time of 43.84s was just out the last fastest losing time of 43.80s. So close to making a European final. Still a new national record is a great achievement. In order of running, they were......Amy Foster, Kelly Proper, Sarah Lavin and Phil Healy.

16.48 15.48 4x400m (R1) Relay Team
Irish mens team finish 3rd in the second heat of the 4 x 400m relay to qualify for the final in the European Championships. Their time of 3m 03.57s was also a new national record. The old one was set back in 2002.

In order of running, it was Brian Gregan, Brian Murphy, Richard Morrissey and Thomas Barr.

Race video...

Coverage of Day 5 on the RTE Player service
Highlights of the womens marathon on the RTE Player Service

Day 6 – 17th of August
09.00 08.00 Marathon Paul Pollock is out due to injury/Sean Hehir/T. Frazer/K. Seaward

Irish men in the European Championship Marathon - Sean Hehir 2:17:59 / Kevin Seaward 2:20:30 / Thomas Frazer 2:22:33. Final times & 5k splits for Irish runners in womens & mens marathon in Zurich  #Zurich2014

Post race interview with Sean Hehir...

1500m (Final) Paul Robinson/Ciaran O’Lionaird....There was no shortage of drama in this one with Ciarán Ó Lionáird getting tripped in a packed bunch early on in the race and having to withdraw. Paul Robinson came very close to a medal but finished just outside in 4th place. It's still a huge achievement...4th in Europe shows the improvement he has made over the last year or two.

In a post race interview, he said...“I think I did everything right it’s just one of those things, I had it and it got taken away from me. I am absolutely gutted. I knew I was in bronze medal position, I could sense the others around me, my legs just buckled. In time I’ll take confidence out of that, I kicked down some really good people. “

What was probably most disappointing was that we didn't get to see just how good Ciarán Ó Lionáird really is. Benabbad looked unbeatable on the day but I find it hard to believe that Ciarán wouldn't have got silver or bronze.

In a post race interview, Ciarán said...“I just got stood on with 600m to go, I felt it on my right hamstring badly and then from there I got stood on to the back of my tendon. It’s disappointing you feel kind of hard done by, but that’s sport.”

Paul Robinson of Ireland just passed before the line by Chris O'Hare of Britain
Early on in the race...
Getting caught up in the pack

15.42 14.42 4x400m (Final) Relay Team

Coverage of the mens marathon on the RTE Player Service
Coverage of Day 6 on the RTE Player Service...2h 40m long
Report on Day 6 from Will Downing writing for Setanta Sports


Other notable events during the championships........

1) Womens 4x100m final.....Mujinga Kambundji of the home Swiss team dropping the baton at the start...

2) Mahiedine Mekhissi Benabbad winning the mens 1500m final after being stripped of his gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase after taking off his singlet in the final 100m. He said this on his Facebook page later....
I'm happy tonight. Before the race, I had feelings I'd never felt before. Today I really wanted to win that gold medal and stand on the top step of the podium to deliver to France and to all the people who support me every day, my coach, my family, my friends, my partners and you, my fans, the Marseillaise ... Today I showed that I was proud that I had pride. I've also been especially well prepared to reach the top of my game to this competition and I want to pay tribute to Philippe my coach for that. Tonight I celebrate this award with the France team and I think of course very much to you who have supported me and believed in me during this championship. I will write more about this tomorrow the way back to return this week full of emotions. Of course a big thank you to you all. Good evening. Mmb

3) Susan Kuijken of the Netherlands winning bronze in the womens 5000m. If you want to see what winning a medal means to someone then watch this. Well worth watching.

...........and finally Cooly the games mascot doing the pole vault. Would probably medal at the Munster Indoors ;o)

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